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  1. #1
    Bald_81's Avatar
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    I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    I was hesitant to break out my crystal ball before the start of free agency because I needed a little more time and information to predict anything. However, I now believe Sam Bradford is a lock to be the first name called on April 22nd. For all I know, we could trade for Michael Vick in the next four days or have a draft day trade with Philadelphia but I don't really see either happening.

    The signing of A.J. Feeley speaks volumes. Why? I'll tell you. It's easy to rationalize by Devaney and Co. because all it looks like is a replacement for Kyle Boller. He is a perfect fit here because he has great knowledge of Shurmur's offense and worked with him in Philadelphia. I think this is exactly why we haven't cut Bulger yet. If we go into mini camps prior to the draft with Bulger and Feeley, it doesn't fully tip our hand towards what we are going to do with the #1 pick. It buys Devaney time to say we're evaluating our quarterbacks and we'll see who emerges as the starter. If they were to release Bulger today, we would only have Feeley, Null, and Reilly on the roster. At least if we keep Bulger, it wouldn't look painfully obvious that we are taking Bradford.

    I believe the plan of action is as follows: We enter mini camps with Bulger, Feeley, and Null fighting for the starting job. Spagnuolo does his usual "we already know Marc and we've seen Keith a little bit last year" routine when explaining how he's going to go about figuring out the position. Then, on April 22nd, we draft Sam Bradford first overall. The other up side of keeping Bulger on the roster until then is leverage in negotiations because there is the threat we can easily take Suh/McCoy and just go another year with Bulger as our QB. Suh/McCoy would both fall in slots two and three, where as Bradford would take a hit falling to number four. That would help us immensely in terms of getting a contract done before the draft. Afterwards, we shop Bulger around and see if we can get anything. If not, we release him soon afterwards. Feeley enters the season as the starter, lasts six-eight games, and the Bradford era begins.

    The only big hurdle keeping this from happening right now is how Bradford performs at his pro day. However, from everything I've read about the combine and his shoulder everything came back well and teams were satisfied with his progress. I can't say I agree totally with the pick, but I definitely see the logic and reasoning behind it. As of right now, I don't see anyway Sam's not a Ram on April 22nd. Not my preferred choice, but as always I'll stand behind the decision.


  2. #2
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    If spags wasn't our coach maybe, but I can't see our D-line driven coach letting suh go threw his fingers.. Even if he doesn't have all the control I don't think it will happen

  3. #3
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Good post Bald. I tend to agree with your thinking. Devaney is a good poker player who holds his cards until it's the right time to play them. I would add that this adds some trade incentive to some teams who may be willing to move into the top pick. The conspiracy theory lives on!

    Go Rams!

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    The more I think about it, the less I'm sure Bradford's the pick. My gut feeling at first was that he was, but $3 million a year is an awful lot to spend on your backup QB, especially if you take Bradford in the first round, since he'll command $7-$8 million before incentives.

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    BigGameTH is offline Registered User
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    If the question is whether we are starting Bulger or Feeley for 8 games, why wouldn't we start Bulger?
    Feeley has been a backup most of his career. I don't think they're bringing him in to start the first part of the season. If they plan on starting Bradford right away, it makes more sense. Then you have a solid backup for Bradford in his rookie year. But I really DO think this was just a replacement for Boller, so if the goal was to fool other teams they definitely fooled me. I just think that if my job was on the line, I would not put it in the hands of Feeley for half the season.

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    The more I think about it, the less I'm sure Bradford's the pick. My gut feeling at first was that he was, but $3 million a year is an awful lot to spend on your backup QB, especially if you take Bradford in the first round, since he'll command $7-$8 million before incentives.
    Bradford will be $10-11 million per year (roughly). Marc Bulger is pretty much at $10.5 million right now. Not far off a straight exchange.

    And $3 million is the rumored average for the contract. No word on how the 2 seasons are broken down or guaranteed money. My guess is it's structured so that he's paid very close to how Boller was paid last year and he'll be cut after one season.

  7. #7
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Bradford's worth our 1st round pick if we trade our 1st pick of the draft to either Tampa or Detroit.

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGameTH View Post
    If the question is whether we are starting Bulger or Feeley for 8 games, why wouldn't we start Bulger?
    Feeley has been a backup most of his career. I don't think they're bringing him in to start the first part of the season. If they plan on starting Bradford right away, it makes more sense. Then you have a solid backup for Bradford in his rookie year. But I really DO think this was just a replacement for Boller, so if the goal was to fool other teams they definitely fooled me. I just think that if my job was on the line, I would not put it in the hands of Feeley for half the season.
    If they draft Bradford, what makes you think the plan is for AJ Feeley to ever see the field? Sanchez, Stafford, Ryan and Flacco all started week 1. So you'd put 8-10% of your entire salary budget on the bench as a backup?

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Bradford will be $10-11 million per year (roughly). Marc Bulger is pretty much at $10.5 million right now. Not far off a straight exchange.

    And $3 million is the rumored average for the contract. No word on how the 2 seasons are broken down or guaranteed money. My guess is it's structured so that he's paid very close to how Boller was paid last year and he'll be cut after one season.
    Feeley's not going to be so dumb as to sign a heavily back-loaded deal. Our intentions would be way too transparent if we offered one of those.

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Feeley's not going to be so dumb as to sign a heavily back-loaded deal. Our intentions would be way too transparent if we offered one of those.
    He's a career backup who ended up being the #3 QB in Carolina at 30 years of age. He hasn't been in an actual game since 2007 and has something like 5 starts in his career (I think that's what I heard)? How many deals do you think he was expecting to receive?

    Boller signed a 1 year deal last year and everyone expects 2011 to be a lockout seasons. So effectively, it's a 1 year deal anyway.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    He's a career backup who ended up being the #3 QB in Carolina at 30 years of age. He hasn't been in an actual game since 2007 and has something like 5 starts in his career (I think that's what I heard)? How many deals do you think he was expecting to receive?

    Boller signed a 1 year deal last year and everyone expects 2011 to be a lockout seasons. So effectively, it's a 1 year deal anyway.
    Based on my recollection of the NHL when they nuked that season a couple of years ago, the players did not "lose" that year on their contract.

    And I'm sorry, nothing about this contract makes sense if we assume "backup" in 2010, followed by cut. Why give him the extra year in the first place? Why go spectacularly over the top at any point in the contract? This does not compute.

  12. #12
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Are you unaware the players routinely sign back loaded contracts because it sounds better? Is this something you've never heard of?

  13. #13
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald_81 View Post
    I believe the plan of action is as follows: We enter mini camps with Bulger, Feeley, and Null fighting for the starting job. Spagnuolo does his usual "we already know Marc and we've seen Keith a little bit last year" routine when explaining how he's going to go about figuring out the position. Then, on April 22nd, we draft Sam Bradford first overall. The other up side of keeping Bulger on the roster until then is leverage in negotiations because there is the threat we can easily take Suh/McCoy and just go another year with Bulger as our QB. Suh/McCoy would both fall in slots two and three, where as Bradford would take a hit falling to number four. That would help us immensely in terms of getting a contract done before the draft. Afterwards, we shop Bulger around and see if we can get anything. If not, we release him soon afterwards. Feeley enters the season as the starter, lasts six-eight games, and the Bradford era begins.
    Overall I think you're right regarding how it will play out, as the Rams gain nothing by releasing Bulger now. If they keep him, they can continue to maintain that they don't have to take a QB.

    The only thing I'd add is that if the Rams try to shop Bulger after drafting Bradford, the only response I think they'll get is the sound of silence. I'm just not sure what team is going to trade for Bulger after the Rams draft Bradford, because by then, the writing will be on the wall and they'll just wait for him to be cut. Which benefits them because they don't have to take on his contract.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    The more I think about it, the less I'm sure Bradford's the pick. My gut feeling at first was that he was, but $3 million a year is an awful lot to spend on your backup QB, especially if you take Bradford in the first round, since he'll command $7-$8 million before incentives.
    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Bradford will be $10-11 million per year (roughly). Marc Bulger is pretty much at $10.5 million right now. Not far off a straight exchange.
    Stafford's deal as the top pick last year was $72 million over six years, which averages to $12 million a year. So, being picked first overall a year later means Bradford's contract will in all likelihood average more.
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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Are you unaware the players routinely sign back loaded contracts because it sounds better? Is this something you've never heard of?
    Two year long backloaded contracts? Without renegotiation? With a team that has a fairly naked intention of not honoring final years of the contracts? At what point does the agent step in and say "no."

    Also, wouldn't there end up being a larger cap hit if we backloaded the contract and the NFL somehow reinstated it?

    A backloaded contract, at least one to the scale that would make Feeley's current salary palatable for a backup, doesn't make sense at all.

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    Re: I believe Bradford is now a lock to go first overall

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Also, wouldn't there end up being a larger cap hit if we backloaded the contract and the NFL somehow reinstated it?

    A backloaded contract, at least one to the scale that would make Feeley's current salary palatable for a backup, doesn't make sense at all.
    You have absolutely no idea how contracts versus the salary cap works do you? Tell me, if he's due $4 million next year and the Rams cut him, what's his cap hit if there isn't a signing bonus?

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